The Masters is one of the Triple Crown-tournaments of the snooker world – as such it might be compared to a tennis Grand Slam or a golf Major. It is the only one of the Triple Crown-tournaments, that does not give any ranking points – this is because it is an invitational tournament featuring only the absolute top 16 snooker players in the world, as well as two wild card players. You are, in other words, guaranteed world class snooker all the way from Round 1 to the final. And London is easy to get to. Defending champion is Shaun Murphy, who massacred “The Thunder from Down Under” Neil Robertson by 10-2 in the 2015 final.
The tournament is played in “Ally Pally” – Alexandra Palace – from 1873. The venue is situated in green surroundings in the northern parts of London between Wood Green and Muswell Hill. Nearest tube station (20 min. walk) is Wood Green, from where it is a 20 minutes ride on the Picadilly line to the very center of London (Covent Garden, Picadilly Circus). A bit closer is the Alexandra Palace rail station, with frequent connections to Kings Cross, also in the center of the city.
The tournament is being played from January 10 to January 17, 2016. The first round matches will be played one at a time (ie. no simultaneous matches) from January 10 to 13, with one match at 1 PM and one match at 7 PM local (UK) time. On January 14-15 the four quarterfinals will be played. On January 16 it is time for the semifinals, and on January 17 the final. The final is best of 19 frames, all other matches are best of 11.
The box office will open at 10AM UK time (GMT+1) on Tuesday, April 28. It is recommended that you get your tickets as soon as possible, if you want to attend the final or the semifinals.
In 2016 the tickets are from £15 for an afternoon session in the first round up to £45 for each session of the final. All-day tickets are available from £20 (1st round, Monday and Tuesday) up to £70 for the semifinals and £75 for the final.
Further ticket information will be posted at World Snooker, and will also be updated here as soon as possible after it becomes available.
Where to stay?
There are some smaller hotels – basically Bed and Breakfasts – within 1-2 miles of Alexandra Palace. If you want something bigger and better, the best option is probably to find a hotel near the city center close to the Picadilly tube line, which is near Alexandra Palace and which runs all the time. A possibility could be one of the many hotels of all types near Russell Square. Russell Square is close to many London’s major sights and museums, but is also well connected with buses and the tube station Russell Square, from where there is a direct connection to Wood Green near Alexandra Palace. A charming 4 star hotel could be Russell Hotel, but there are a lot of hotels – also cheaper ones – to choose from near Russell Square. Hotel rooms in this area starts at about £70/night for a single room, while a suite in one of the better hotels can cost you several hundred pounds a night. You can book you London hotel at booking.com.
Getting to London
Few cities in the world are as well connected plane-wise as London. Pretty much all major airlines in the world run scheduled and frequent flights to one of the cities’ five airport (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Luton, London City Airport).
From Heathrow, the Picadilly tube line takes you directly to the city center in an hour, and it continues on to Wood Greed near Alexandra Palace. It is also possible (and more expensive) to board the Heathrow Express which arrives at Paddington Station in 15 minutes, and is a lot more comfortable than the tube.
From Stanstead, the Stanstead Express goes to Liverpool Street Station in ca. 45 minutes. Busses are also available.
From Gatwick, you can take the Gatwick Express to Victoria in about 30 minutes, while it takes just under an hour to go on the slower standard train to fx Blackfriars.
All major rail stations in London are well connected to the tube network.